New wave of BPay fraud

B-Pay fraud has started again – criminals are using credit cards to circumvent recently-installed security safeguards. In Sydney over the past three weeks 12 people have had money stolen by criminals transferring money between bank accounts via the B-Pay system. About $250,000 was transferred between accounts, although the criminals got only half of this before the fraud was detected.

Due to over $1 million in fraud in 2002, B-Pay recently introduced security measures which meant ordinary transaction accounts could not accept B-Pay bill payments. In the latest wave of B-Pay fraud, a woman calling herself Melissa Taylor rings bank customers offering a special deal if they pay bills using B-Pay. She already has their bank account details and asks for passwords to use telephone or Internet banking. Most customers refuse to divulge these; however some have complied, due, say the police, to the woman's persuasive manner.

The fraudsters then steal money from the accounts and use B-Pay to transfer it to credit card accounts, either in the customers' own names or to other accounts which the criminals can access. The money is withdrawn after a short time and the victim is unaware that his or her credit card has been used for fraudulent purposes. Bank customers are again being warned by police not to give out their password details to anyone asking for them.

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